As a way to pay tribute to a lost son of Mullica Hill, the G2 Benefit Foundation hosted a ceremony earlier this month to celebrate the debut of the new Gino Giumarello Chess Park.
The memorial at Ella Harris Park celebrates the life of Gino Giumarello II, who was killed in a car accident in 2021 and was known to have a huge passion for chess.
“It’s a unique and fantastic space,” said Deputy Mayor Julie DeLaurentis, who spoke at the ceremony. “It’s a beautiful addition to Ella Harris (Park). So many people thought, ‘What could I do?’ And a small group decided they wanted to build something for him.”
“Gino was passionate about chess, so this is a wonderful tribute to this young man,” said Mayor Louis Manzo.
“Gino always had a love of learning including history and politics,” said Gino Giumarello Sr. “When he wasn’t with his friends or family he could usually be found reading or watching history documentaries.
“When he became interested in chess at the age of six, it was no surprise. He joined the chess club in middle school and then went on to start a competitive Clearview Chess Team with his friends Mason Grosset and Mitchel Luckman.”
Besides tables for chess play, the three-hour event featured food trucks and raffle prizes. Giumarello’s parents and family were there to cut the ribbon at the park.
“We were so overwhelmed by all the love and support from our friends, family and community,” said June Miller Giumarello. “The Gino Giumarello II Chess Park inaugural ceremony was far beyond our expectations.
“I need to thank so many people for their generous donations, which I hope to get soon, but I want you to know we are so grateful for all of your contributions,” she added. “Really so shocked by the generosity of so many. The G2 Benefit Foundation will be able to do so many wonderful things to honor the memory of our son Gino.”
The foundation was formed in honor of Giumarello, who was 23 when he died and also had the nickname of G2. The nonprofit seeks to improve the community through youth projects and services, family care and senior care. It also provides scholarships and supplies donations to support school programs.
“I’ve known them (the Giumarellos) for a long time,” said DeLaurentis. “They’re just such caring and giving people, especially to the community. They’re just wonderful people.”